While several Religious Right groups have either announced their support for comprehensive immigration reform bill or have offered only a minimal opposition against it, Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum is leading the fight against the bipartisan Senate reform bill. Schlafly made the case against the legislation yesterday on VCY America’s Crosstalk, days after telling attendees at a conservative conference to wage primary campaigns against any Republican lawmakers who back reform efforts.
Schlafly agreed with host Jim Schneider’s claim that the Obama administration would be “importing jihad” if it resettled Syrian refugees in the US. She added that these Syrian refugees wouldn’t want to “live the American lifestyle” and “think the way to do is to create a riot in order to get what you want,” referring to the uprising against dictator Bashar al-Assad.
But for Schlafly, Latino immigrants are the real threat. Seemingly unaware that the Irish, Italian and Jewish immigrants of earlier generations were also accused of being unwilling and unable to assimilate into American culture, Schlafly said that while such earlier immigrants “became one hundred percent American,” “these people [Latinos] really can’t show that their next generation, the younger people, are assimilating and becoming American.”
She said that Latino youth “joined a lot of these gangs and they have not assimilated,” unlike the undocumented parents who “had the guts” to make it across the border and find a job. Schlafly later argued that while many immigrants in the past tended to vote Democratic, she explained that she knew they “got Americanized” when they started to vote for Republicans such as Ronald Reagan. “But I don’t see that happening in this case,” Schlafly said of Latino immigrants.
What we know about a lot of these Hispanics who come in is that they don’t assimilate very well and the second generation becomes more radical than the people who came in. Maybe the guy who had the guts, the strength to swim across the Rio Grande, really has a lot of good qualities and gets some kind of job, even if it’s illegal and low-paying, and he develops into a good citizen. But the next generation, they’ve joined a lot of these gangs and they have not assimilated. The real way that millions of people in previous decades assimilated in our country, they arrived at Ellis Island—and I’ve heard a lot of them say, they told their children, ‘my father told me we’ve now landed in America and we’re going to speak English and we’re going to be American’—and the kids went into the public schools where they spoke only English, the kids came home and taught English to their parents, and they became good Americans who believe in our country. That’s what happened to the Italians, the Irish and the Jews who came in—they became one hundred percent American. But these people, you really can’t show that their next generation, the younger people, are assimilating and becoming American.
A lot of them were Democrats when they first came in but then they got Americanized and they learned and they turned out to be the Reagan Democrats who voted for Ronald Reagan after a couple of generations. But I don’t see that happening in this case, and we need to protect the integrity and sovereignty of America.